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Resourceful is a newsletter about spending less, reducing stress and living within your means.
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If you’re anything like me, you’re signed up to hundreds upon hundreds of email alerts from retailers. In a meta-subscription hole, I'm signed up to an email alert that tells me just how many things I’m subscribed to - - which yesterday told me I’m signed up to 475 email alerts. Obscene, right! (The service is supposed to be able to unsubscribe you to all of them at once, but post-GDPR, it no longer does that for European countries. Sigh).

As a subscriber to almost 500 email alerts, Black Friday certainly makes a dent in my inbox each year. While I'm not saying I tend to splash out all of my savings this weekend, being signed up to so much stuff certainly adds an element of temptation. Combine ‘Oh! I just got paid!’ and ’20% off! I need to have a few weather-appropriate dresses on rotation for this party season!' and you find your cursor hovering over the Add to Basket button without much thought.

I did a poll on Twitter this week where 58% of people said they’re prone to scroll for deals but rarely buy anything. I’m with you. Writing this has already taken twice the time I’d like it to, because, while searching for things to recommend you read down below, I’ve been lured in by pop-ups and ads. And emails, of course. 

Do we need this stuff though? A long-running Which? survey found that nine out of 10 Black Friday products are actually cheaper at other times of the year. In my local supermarket, in a weird Black Friday merchandising choice, they have the black-packaged Sea Salt and Crushed Black Peppercorn Kettle Chips next to limited edition black toilet paper. (To confuse things further, the toilet paper was €5.99, proving that retailers hold out hope for people to buy literally anything if they can see the words Black Friday in the same vision field as the product they're trying to sell).  

If you spot something that would mildly impress your hard-to-please brother for Christmas, by all means, go ahead. By buying six pairs of acetate earrings because they’re only £7 each? I want to, but know I will lose or break each pair after one wear. It's just a fact.

Instead, this weekend, I'm going to find some time to unsubscribe to an insane amount of emails. (Btw, while it'd be cool if you felt inspired enough to do the same, please stay subscribed to this one! It means a lot that you're here).

Read this.

Think offline.

These are all taken from Things To Be Happy About, a book that made me realise the importance of taking time to be thankful. 

Buy the book 
here for your friends
or your crush. 
  • the highest bidder
  • not leaving people in the lurch
  • a toasted baguette sliced in half with butter and raspberry jam
  • knowing how to build a campfire
  • a nutrient-laden farm pond
  • a mystery about to reveal itself
  • wind stirring your senses and making your perspective entirely new
  • handsome, athletic, talkative Greeks!

Money, money, money.

I was sent an email this week about a Google Chrome plugin that stops you spontaenously buying stuff you don’t need and I wanted to share it with you guys! 

Icebox allows you to put online basket items ‘on ice’ for 30 days to have time to consider your purchases. It replaces the buy button or works as a pop-up on some of the UK’s top online stores including ASOS, Next and Topshop.

If you’re the type of person who’s received parcels you weren’t expecting more than once (after you were let loose on a laptop after three glasses of wine on a Saturday night - no judgement whatsoever, guilty as charged), click here to try it out.

Eat this. 

We cooked with something this week that I’d usually avoid at arm’s length: cabbage. You only need to have a combination of soggy cabbage and fatty bacon once to stay away from it for the rest of your life, but my boyfriend said he’d wanted to cook a big vat of stew to take to work with him this week (I work from home! Toast every day for lunch for me!)

He cooked two recipes together: a vegetable stew comprising carrots, onions and celery, and an Irish staple, colcannon. Turns out this is the way to make cabbage do great things for your tastebuds, all chopped up in the creamiest of mashed potato combined with the spicy sweetness of spring onions (or scallions, as my Irish mother would call them). Best of all? Buy all these ingredients for next to nothing and you can get 5-6 portions out of it, easily.

For the sake of simplicity, below are the ingredients to make your own potato-cabbage-scallion colcannon combo, to combine with whatever the hell you like. Instantly comforting, insanely cheap and I could stick my head in a vat of it and lick the pan clean (I almost did do this, IRL).
  • 1kg of potatoes, mashed
  • Half a large cabbage head, sliced
  • White onion (isn’t that a Beatles song?), sliced
  • Clove of garlic, sliced
  • 5-6 spring onions, sliced
  • 150ml milk (or non-dairy alternative, we used rice milk)
  • Butter (or non-dairy alternative)
  1. Peel and roughly chop potatoes and add to a pan, covering with cold water. Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to a simmer. Let cook for 20 minutes or until tender.
  2. Heat a coupla knobs of butter in a frying pan. Once hot, add the onions and fry until translucent. Then add the garlic and fry for another minute before adding the cabbage. Fry for roughly 10 minutes or until onions and cabbage start to brown but still hold some bite.
  3. Drain and mash the potatoes, mixing in cabbage and onions once ready.
  4. Meanwhile, put the spring onions (reserving the green tips) in a saucepan with the milk and bring to the boil. Gradually add to the potato and cabbage, mixing thoroughly.
  5. Add a generous knob of butter and the green onion tips and mix together until smooth and serve sprinkled with some spring onion to garnish.
Now, take me somewhere fun
That's all folks! Thanks for reading this newsletter. Want to share money-saving tips or compare frugal lifestyle notes? Reply to this email - I'd love to chat. Or, if you enjoyed it, forward on to a friend. 
Resourceful is curated twice a month by Tara Lepore.
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Copyright © 2018 Tara Lepore, All rights reserved.

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